Domestic Violence Doesn’t Just Happen to Women
In the majority of domestic violence cases the victim is a woman. However, women are not the only victims. Sometimes men are the victim of domestic violence and may need the same kind of help that is often available to women in order to leave their offending partner.
Domestic violence in a broad sense is any kind of physical abuse that occurs in a domestic setting. Violence can take various forms which include physical, verbal, emotional, economic, or sexual abuse. In addition, the problem does not necessarily have to occur between husband and wife, even though that is the most common form, and can instead involve other family members. One area of domestic violence that is not fully reported and hence not completely understood is violence against men. While women often have help available and wide support for leaving the violent offender or reporting domestic violence, men do not often have the same help or understanding. There is concern that domestic violence where men are the victim is often under reported because of social stigma and a perceived lack of machismo that follow. In addition, given that the preponderance of domestic violence is against women, when a man does contact the authorities or seek out help there is more of a tendency to discount the severity of the event or to possibly even believe that the women is in fact the victim.
So, what help is available to men who find themselves victims of domestic violence in Arizona? An online article on CBS5 discusses just that. Apparently, out of the many shelters in the valley catering to domestic violence victims there is one that also accepts men. My Sister’s Place is a shelter run by Catholic Charities Community Services which accepts men and give them a place to stay when they decide to leave their abusive partners. Given the possible social stigma it is nice to see a shelter that readily accepts men who are victims of domestic violence and allows them a place of refuge while they get their feet back under them.